Arnis is one of the names for the Filipino martial arts (FMA) that teach the use of and defense against weapons. Eskrima (also spelled escrima) and kali are other common names for the FMA. Garimot Arnis is a system that incorporates many styles from the northern area of the Philippines (Luzon) and teaches many types of weapons, including sword, knife, stick, staff, spear, shield, and rope, although the training gives a practitioner the skills necessary to fight with any weapon. Garimot Arnis Training (GAT) also includes other Filipino martial arts that are not considered arnis, such as wrestling (buno), healing (hilot), and fencing (esgrima).

GAT Saint Louis was founded to provide training in these traditional Filipino arts to the Midwest, headed by three of the highest-ranked instructors of the art. Every GAT instructor receives a fighting name that represents both their personality and fighting style.


GAT will teach you to use and defend against many different weapons, with the following being the most common.



Nearly all arnis training begins with a stick about two-and-a-half feet long. In GAT, the stick is generally used as a substitute for the sword in training. It is sometimes paired with a knife, but is more often paired with another stick. Sometimes, a wooden sword is carved for training, called a brokil. The stick (baston) used for training is commonly made of rattan, a climbing palm, straightened and dried. This is due to the ability of rattan to withstand repeated hard impact without shattering; rattan fibers will begin to shred, but remain intact.



Garimot Arnis not only teaches the use of a sword and the defense against one, but also methods to quickly draw the sword from its scabbard, known as bunot armas. There are many names for the sword in Laguna - some are generic (itak, tabak), others refer to the shape of the blade (dahon palay, dahon buho), but the general term that everyone knows is bolo. The sword is sometimes known by the Spanish term espada, especially when paired with a dagger, which is known as espada y daga (or sometimes by the Tagalog tabak at balaraw).



Also known as daga or balaraw, the knife is a very common weapon, so learning to defend yourself against it is vital. Undoubtedly the most famous Filipino knife is the balisong, from Batangas. This knife can be manipulated in very flashy and entertaining ways, but essentially the balisong is an old version of a modern folding pocket knife - able to be quickly opened or closed with one hand, and safely carried without a sheath.



The rope (lubid) is the only weapon used in buno (Filipino wrestling). Weighted on both ends, it can be used for striking, blocking, tying, choking, locking, and disarming. Its proper use takes much more practice than other weapons, but it can easily be transferred to other flexible weapons.